The Reality of Real Estate (BlueRoof Blog)

Thoughts, opinions, and truths about real estate and life as I see it...

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Realtor or real estate agent- What's the Difference?

Most people who are not in the real estate industry don't even realize that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor. Realtor (pronounced Real-tor with two syllables) is such a common term that most people just assume all agents are Realtors, which is not the case.

A real estate agent is someone who has gone through the required schooling and passed a test to gain their license to sell real estate. This usually requires 90-120 hours of class time, followed by a test with the school and then a test with the state. After which you are deemed an "expert" in real estate.

A Realtor is a real estate agent who has joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This means they have gone through some ethics training and have subscribed to a set of rules called the 'code of ethics'. And they have to pay dues, of course. ((See video))

So what's the difference?

Well, let's start with the question, why would a sales agent not want to be a Realtor?

Is it because they don't want to pay dues? A few hundred dollars a year shouldn't be too much for someone who is good at what they do.

Or is it because they don't want to abide by the code of ethics? This seems a more reasonable assumption, given that the state and national associations have committees to hear grievances and hold the members accountable for their actions. And these committees operate separately from the state divisions and can hand down discipline when appropriate.

Also, when considering the fact that your agent will be representing you and your financial interests in such a large investment, wouldn't you want to work with someone who has taken that extra step to be accountable and go through that ethics training? ((See Video))

NAR also has a political action arm called the Realtors Political Action Committee (RPAC). RPAC fights and lobbies for property rights and those politicians who would support property rights. I think this is one of the most important roles of NAR.

One reason to join NAR is so you can be a part of RPAC and help to protect the rights of individuals who own property, including fighting Eminent Domain, which is the power of a government to take private property for public use; the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution and articles in many state constitutions allow this practice provided that just compensation is made. For more information, see the Eminent Domain Watch.

There are differences between real estate agents and Realtors and I invite anyone to research for yourself and determine which you would rather have working with you.


Blogger Todd Tarson said...

You are lucky you are not in my Association or else you would be begged to be our RPAC Chair.

Good job on this.

1:36 PM  
Blogger gt242 said...

That can be a tough job and I appreciate (from afar) those who do it.

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Blogger raven said...

Nice post keep up the good work

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tips for Being a Successful Landlord

In today’s apartment rental market there are several things that are “must do’s” for becoming a successful landlord. The reason you’re playing the real estate rental game is to have the check in your mailbox on the first of the month, right? Here are a few tips that can help you to achieve this with as little aggravation and frustration possible.

First and foremost is finding the right tenant to rent your apartment, house or other rental. This is the most important ingredient in the recipe. Checking the prospective tenant’s credit history to make sure they are paying their bills is one of the best ways you can screen. A tenant that pays their bills on time most likely will send you their rent on time. Establish a clear system on collecting rent, handling complaints from the tenant and how you will contact them if you need to gain access to the apartment.

Secondly, get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing. You have the option to have a basic rental agreement or draw up a formal lease. Whichever you decide, the important thing is to document the terms that you and the tenant agreed to. Clarify who is paying the utilities, the rental price and any other agreements made between you and your tenant.

It’s a good idea to stay on top of the repair and maintenance needs of your property. When you are notified of something that is broken or not working, repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damages. You may also lawfully enable the tenant to withhold rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions or move out without notice.

On a similar topic make sure you are carrying enough property and liability insurance to cover yourself in any situation. A well designed insurance program can protect your rental property from losses caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary, vandalism, and personal injury lawsuits.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Just remember, as long as you follow these simple tips you will be on your way to a happy and fulfilling landlord future. Best of luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Goldstein, associated with which Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places, has been dedicated to the real estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 landlords with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals feel free to visit or email him at

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